Interaction of colloidal gold nanoparticles with human blood: effects on particle size and analysis of plasma protein binding profiles

Nanomedicine. 2009 Jun;5(2):106-17. doi: 10.1016/j.nano.2008.08.001. Epub 2008 Dec 13.


Nanoparticle size and plasma binding profile contribute to a particle's longevity in the bloodstream, which can have important consequences for therapeutic efficacy. In this study an approximate doubling in nanoparticle hydrodynamic size was observed upon in vitro incubation of 30- and 50-nm colloidal gold in human plasma. Plasma proteins that bind the surface of citrate-stabilized gold colloids have been identified. Effects of protein binding on the nanoparticle hydrodynamic size, elements of coagulation, and the complement system have been investigated. The difference in size measurements obtained from dynamic light scattering, electron microscopy, and scanning probe microscopy are also discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Binding Sites
  • Blood Proteins / chemistry*
  • Blood Proteins / metabolism
  • Gold / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Metal Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Microscopy, Scanning Probe
  • Particle Size*


  • Blood Proteins
  • Gold